Bob Cervenka is a past Illinois state champion and a four-year collegiate letter winner.
During Cervenka's 31 years of coaching the pole vault and high jump, he has coached a
World Champion, Commonwealth Games Silver medalist, World Championship and
Olympic finalist, two World Youth Championship finalists, 19 USATF/AAU Junior Olympic
All Americans, as well as 8 IHSA state champions, 142 state qualifiers and 77 finalists.

Bob Cervenka won the Illinois State H.S. Championship in the high jump in 1976 while
attending Downers Grove North High School and was runner-up in 1977. He went on to
attend Eastern Illinois University and graduated with a degree in physical education and
health education in 1982. After serving as an assistant track and field coach at the
University of Nebraska from 1985-88. Then went to South Africa where he coached at      
the National and club level until 2006. There, he established himself as a "Jumps Guru"
coaching athletes who qualified for the 1998 Commonwealth Games, 1999 & 2001 World
Youth Championships, 2000 & 2003 African Championships, 2002 World Junior
Championships, 2000 & 2004 Olympic Games, and 1999 & 2005 World Championships.  
In total, Bob has coached five male pole vaulters who jumped over 17' 3/4"/5.20m, led by
18' 8 3/4/5.71m jumper, Darren Niedermeyer. On the women's side, he coached 14'
6"/4.42m vaulter Elmarie Gerryts, 17 year old junior vaulter who jumped 13' 3 1/2"/4.05m,
and 16 year old youth vaulter who jumped 12' 11".

In the high jump, Bob has coached numerous male 7-footers, led by Jacques Freitag, the
2003 World Champion in the high jump who recorded a best of 7' 9 3/4"/2.38m in 2005.  
On the women's side he coached 6' 3"/1.90m jumper Nicollize Steyn, and two juniors that
have jumped 5' 11"/1.80m.

In 2007, Bob returned to the United States and has coached 8 Illinois State Champions
Megan Weller (13' 1"/3.99m), Amy Horvath (5' 8"/1.73m),  3 X Champion Haleigh Knapp    
(5' 8" /1.73m) and 142 State qualifiers with 77 finalist.

In 2011, Bob changed his 19-year-old Vertical Jumps Academy to the JUMP HIGH   
Athletic Club, a pole vaulting and high jump club. For more information on the club,         
click on Club Information.
Contact:  For more information email:  jumphighusa@gmail.com
Bob Cervenka - Head Coach
Rich Karnia
Rich Karnia begun his coaching career 6 years ago at Marist High School where he is the current
head girls Track and Field and Cross Country coach at Marist High School.  For the past five years he
has produced state qualifiers and medalists for both the Pole Vault, High Jump, and running events.
Brittany Holst jumping 11'6" in 2011 and finished 8th in 3A IHSA State Finals.  As well as coaching
state qualifiers for cross country and producing all state runners in both 2009 and 2011. Last season
the Cross Country team was ranked number #19 in the State of Illinois.


For the past 5 years Rich has expanded his skills in coaching both Pole Vault and High Jump by
working with Bob Cervenka, the founder of Jump High Athletic Club.


Rich Karnia is also a avid edurance athlete completing the 2011 Steelhead half Iron Man in Benton
Harbor Michigan and served as a guide for blind athletes at the 2010 Chicago Marathon.  
Keith Huhn
Keith Huhn is a former high school and collegiate
vaulter who has been coaching the pole vault for the
past 11 years. More recently has added the high jump
to his resume. Keith vaulted at Tinley Park High School
and went on to jump at Illinois Wesleyan where he was
a four year varsity letterman.  Keith returned to his alma
mater, Tinley Park High School in 2003 to coach the
vertical jumps. Resurrecting the pole vault for the boys,
introducing it to the female team and developing the
high jumpers.

Coaching success: male vaulter’s PR is 13’9”, female vaulter’s is 11’6” and male high jumper is 6’3”.


In 2008 Keith met Bob Cervenka at a local high school event and began working with Cervenka’s Vertical Jumps Academy and is
currently working with the new Jump High Athletic Club.